Lower back pain is a common problem that affects most people. Various reasons can cause lower back pain.
The lower back is an intricate structure of interconnected and overlapping elements:
- Tendons and muscles and other soft tissues
- Highly sensitive nerves and nerve roots that travel from the lower back down into the legs and feet
- Small and complex joints
- Spinal discs with their gelatinous inner cores
What can be done for lower back pain treatment?
An irritation or problem with any of these structures can cause lower back pain and/or pain that radiates or is referred to other parts of the body.
In spite of surgical treatments, there are a wide variety of non-surgical options for back pain treatment of the lumbar spine.
Injection is a nonsurgical treatment option for low back pain. They are typically considered as an option to treat low back pain after a course of medications and/or physical therapy is completed, but before surgery is considered.
How Injections Relieve Back Pain
For pain relief, injections can be more effective than an oral medication because they deliver medication directly to the anatomic location that is generating the pain. Typically, a steroid medication is injected to deliver a powerful anti-inflammatory solution directly to the area that is the source of pain. Depending on the type of injection, some forms of low back pain relief may be long lasting and some may be only temporary.
A lumbar epidural injection is a safe and effective minimally invasive treatment for the treatment of certain types of low back pain. This type of spinal injection serves two purposes:
Provides important diagnostic information
From a diagnostic viewpoint, if the lumbar epidural injection relieves pain, it could mean the nerve targeted is a potential pain generator. Such diagnostic information is beneficial to your doctor for further treatment plan.
Reduces nerve inflammation, calms symptoms, aids healing
The procedure involves injecting a corticosteroid into the epidural space. A corticosteroid is a powerful, slow-releasing, and long-lasting anti-inflammatory medication effective at reducing inflammation. Sometimes a narcotic is injected to increase pain relief. The epidural space is between the protective membrane that covers the spinal cord and the bony spinal canal. After medication is injected, it flows and coats the nerve roots.
Patients seem to have a better response when the epidural steroid injections are coupled with an organized therapeutic exercise program.